GULF OF MEXICO Bruce Beaubouef • Houston
BOEM holds lease sale
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
(BOEM) reports that its recent Lease Sale 248
garnered $18,067,020 in high bids for 24 tracts covering 138,240 acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico
Three companies participated in 24 bids. BHP
Billiton Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc. submitted
12 high bids totaling $9,999,760. While the company mostly bid for tracts in the East Banks area,
its highest bid ($1,077,480) was for the Alaminos
Canyon block 127.
BP Exploration & Production Inc. submitted 10
high bids totaling $6,317,260. Exxon Mobil Corp.
submitted two high bids totaling $1,750,000. Its
and the sale’s highest bid, $1,124,000, was for the
East Breaks block 590.
Each bid will go through a 90-day evaluation
process to ensure the public receives fair market
value before a lease is awarded.
BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “Though this sale reflects today’s market conditions and industry’s current development
strategy, the bidding confirms that there is continued interest in the
deepwater areas of the Gulf.
In this sale, BOEM offered 23. 8 million acres in federal waters offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development. It included
about 4,399 blocks, located from nine to 250 nautical miles offshore,
in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 ft ( 5 to 3,340 m).
Following the sale, National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi said: “The relatively modest results of today’s
Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale are indicative of the current market
conditions and regulatory environment.
“Despite these challenging circumstances, the companies that participated in today’s sale are investing millions of dollars in the future
of America’s energy and economic security with no guarantee of success or financial return.
“The purchase of a lease block is a first step in a lengthy process
that involves rigorous regulatory oversight including extensive envi-
ronmental reviews, permitting, and safety checks.”
The sale, held in late August, was the first federal federal offshore
oil and gas auction to be broadcast live on the internet.
“Making government data immediately available is a valuable re-
source for taxpayers, both in terms of dollars and cents but also in
efficiency,” Hopper said in July. “Through the use of technology we
can deliver our lease sale information in a much more effective and
accessible way to a much wider audience.”
More auctions appear to be forthcoming.
A week before Lease Sale 248, the BOEM published a notice of
intent in the Federal Register to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for proposed lease sales 250 and 251, tentatively scheduled for 2018.
BOEM proposes to offer for oil and gas leasing approximately 72
million acres of the 160 million acres in the GoM. Areas excluded
are the whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower
Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, the blocks deferred by the
Gulf of Mexico Security Act of 2006, the blocks that are beyond the
US’ Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap. •
BOEM is proposing to offer approximately 72 million acres of the 160 million acres in the GoM
for oil and gas leasing with proposed lease sales 250 and 251. (Courtesy Bureau of Ocean
Venari ups stake
in Shenandoah field
Venari Resources LLC says it has acquired an
additional 7% working interest in the Shenandoah
field on Walker Ridge blocks 51, 52, and 53 in the
deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
The company also reported successful results
from the Shenandoah #5 appraisal well.
The Shenandoah #5 well was drilled on Walker
Ridge block 51 in approximately 5,900 ft ( 1,798 m) of
water to a total depth of 31,100 ft ( 9,479 m). The well
was drilled up-dip of the Shenandoah #2 appraisal
well and was designed to confirm and extend reser-
The well encountered more than 1,000 ft (304
m) net of high-quality oil pay in the Lower Tertiary
Wilcox sands and extended the field farther east.
The next appraisal well, Shenandoah #6, is expected
to spud later this year to further quantify the full
resource potential of the field.
Brian Reinsborough, president and CEO of Venari, said:
“With a high-quality reservoir and substantial net oil pay, the
well results confirm Shenandoah to be a significant oil ac-
cumulation. We are excited that we were able to increase our
ownership in the field and continue building our relationship
with Anadarko across this strategically important region.”
Venari holds a 17% working interest in Shenandoah. Co-own-
ers are Anadarko Petroleum Corp., as operator (33%), Cono-
coPhillips Co. (30%), and Cobalt International Energy, LP (20%).
Venari Resources LLC says it has acquired an additional interest in the Shenandoah field
in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Courtesy Anadarko)